Political Notebook: Rowan Democratic Party makes endorsements for municipal races

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 19, 2021

The Rowan County Democratic Party has endorsed registered Democrats on the ballot for this year’s municipal elections, which are nonpartisan.

Early voting is underway in Rowan County and spans until Oct. 30. Election Day is Nov. 2. Seats in all of the county’s 10 municipalities are up for grabs. Because of Rowan County’s municipal elections are nonpartisan, party affiliation doesn’t appear on the ballot.

Democrats endorsed Mayor Pro Tem Al Heggins in her bid for Salisbury mayor as well as Tamara Sheffield and Anthony Smith for City Council.

The Rowan County Republican Party previously told the Post the party doesn’t make endorsements, but the women’s group or Young Republicans can as newly charted branches of the party. Campaign finance reports show the women’s group donated to the Salisbury City Council campaigns of Nalini Joseph and Jessica Cloward, who are both registered Republicans.

In East Spencer, Democrats endorsed Mayor Barbara Mallett, Dwayne Holmes and Albert Smith, who are all seeking re-election. The party also endorsed Shawn Rush, who’s seeking election to the town board in East Spencer. Rush is also the second vice chair of the party.

For the China Grove race, Democrats endorsed Arthur Heggins. They endorsed Jeanne Dixon in the Kannapolis race. In Spencer, Democrats endorsed Jonathan Williams, who is running unopposed for mayor as well as Steve Miller, Patricia “Patti” Secreast and Pat Sledge.

The Democratic Party credited the endorsed candidates with working toward the party’s values of quality public education for all children, livable wages, sustainable economic development, protection of voter rights, economic and social equality and safe and affordable housing.

Rowan County Republican Party, Sen. Carl Ford say they stand with Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson

The Rowan County Republican Party and Sen. Carl Ford have both posted to social media they’re standing with Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson despite calls for his resignation.

The calls stem from a video that circulated social media earlier this month showing Robinson saying in front of a church, “There’s no reason anybody anywhere in America should be telling any child about transgenderism, homosexuality, any of that filth. And yes, I called it filth. And if you don’t like that I called it filth, come see me and I’ll explain it to you.”

Robinson has since double-downed on his comments, stating that his comments about the “sexualization of children from the classroom and our public education system” have been twisted “by the media and those on the left” to put the focus on lack of support for the LGBTQ community.

The images depicted in the video, Robinson said, represent books titled “George” by Alex Gino and “Gender Queer” by Maia Kobabe. CBS17.com reported that both Wake County Public Schools System and Durham Public Schools have copies of the books in their libraries, though they’re not taught in the curriculum.

“I agree with our Lt. Governor,” Ford told the Post. “Everyone has freedom of speech … Everyone on both sides. Once anyone looks at the images, I think you’ll agree with Mark Robinson’s opinion.”

Ford also shared to Facebook a picture with Robinson, stating that he “stands with” him.

The Rowan County Republican Party shared the Facebook video Robinson made, and thanked him.

Gov. Cooper signs into law bill sponsored by Warren increasing penalties for damaging law enforcement vehicles

Gov. Roy Cooper last week signed into law a bill sponsored by Rep. Harry Warren relating to damaging law enforcement vehicles.

House Bill 761, co-sponsored by Warren, a Republican who represents Rowan County, increases the penalties for those who steal from or damage law enforcement vehicles and other equipment. It increases the penalty for breaking or entering from a class I felony to a class H, which increases the potential sentence from up to 12 months to up to 25 months.

Additionally, the bill implements a class H felony for theft of law enforcement equipment, along with a class G felony, which carries a sentence up to 31 months, for stolen equipment valued in excess of $1,000.

The bill passed 97-14 in the House and 44-5 in the Senate along party lines.